"All the staff on the 6th Floor ..."

About: Darlington Memorial Hospital

(as the patient),

What I liked

All the staff on the 6th Floor maternity Ward 61 and the Labour Ward could not do enough for me and the many patients & family I met during my stay. All team members from the cleaners, kitchen hostesses, office support staff, auxillaries, midwives, doctors and consultants showed consistent professionalism and compassion in the delivery of their duties. The midwifery team in particular was exemplery in the considerate and consistent level of care provided to me, aswell as trying to make the environment less intimidating & welcoming. I know I could not do their job but I am very grateful that there are those that can & do as myself and my daughter would not be here without them.

What could be improved

1. Staffing over weekends and bank holidays should not be cut to the bone.

2. More care taken when meal orders are processed so patients do receive what they ordered and hostess staff do not have to spread limited resources.

3. Experienced cleaning staff should be listened to more by management and able to directly influence hygiene targets and activities to make them more attainable and practical for the staff involved - managers should be made to do at least a couple of full cleaning shifts to understand the pressures of keeping a busy ward clean.

4. A one-page A4 welcome sheet provided to all new patients & family members providing basic information on how the ward works - meal times & food ordering, visiting, consultant rounds, contact numbers etc.

5. Avoid inconsistent advice being given to patients, which can confuse and upset already emotionaly charged people. Make clearer that pregnancy & birth is not exact science and staff have different levels of experience & opinions

Anything else?

I was a patient in the Maternity Unit (Ward 61 & Labour ward) for 16 continous weeks from Jan to May 09 (101 days in the same ward bed) so was an unusual case with a unique experience and view of the ward and its workings!

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Response from Darlington Memorial Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to provide us with such detailed feedback following your experience in Darlington Memorial Hospital. We are pleased to hear that service and treatment you received on the 6th floor was of a high standard and proved to be a positive experience. We have also noted the points you have raised for improvements and these will be discussed with the appropriate staff and managers to identify areas for action where appropriate.

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